POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10) – Some people travel to Southern California for beaches or a trip to Disneyland. For Jeg Coughlin Jr., driver of the JEGS/Mopar Dodge Avenger, no trip to SoCal is complete without a weekend at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
Over the years it has become his personal Disneyland.
"I love racing here," Coughlin said. "The energy that the Fairplex brings out in our team is exciting. We had a heckuva run here in the season opener and we look to better it by one round tomorrow."
Coughlin opened the NHRA Pro Stock season with a runner-up finish at the Winternationals, and he'll be looking to win Sunday's Auto Club NHRA Finals from the No. 9 spot.
"We've been trying to peck away at the setup this weekend," Coughlin said. "We tried a new engine combination here this weekend, one we wanted to try in Las Vegas but weren't able to. Looks like it picked us up a little bit.
"What we were working on was aimed to move the program forward. We made little gains."
Coughlin's best pass of the weekend was in 6.571 seconds at 210.41 mph, and he squares off against No. 8 qualifier Vincent Nobile, whose best run was in 6.562 seconds at 211.00 mph. Since Coughlin's JEGS Avenger is the lower-seeded car, he won't get lane choice in the first round on Sunday. The track has been favoring the Pro Stock cars in the left lane this weekend, but Coughlin said that his Dodge made solid passes in the right lane too.
"We made a pretty good run down the right lane in Q4," Coughlin said. "If we would have been in the left lane it probably would have been a low 6.56 and would have moved us another couple of spots.
"It not a bad lane, it's just not the preferred lane. We're going to have a first-hand look at it in the morning."
Coughlin added that even though eliminations haven’t begun yet, it's already been an exciting weekend for his extended racing family.
"Big congratulations to Allen Johnson and Mopar for bringing a championship to Dodge," he said. "It was extremely exciting to watch it unfold and bring a title home to Chrysler and Mopar's headquarters.
"Al Kenny, my father-in-law, also deserves big congratulations because he locked up the Super Comp championship on Saturday."
Coughlin will try to bag a sixth career Pomona victory when eliminations get under way at 11 a.m. PST on Sunday.